Chris Gayle has dubbed himself the “Universe Boss” due to his flamboyance, flair, and domination of bowlers.
According to celebrityworth.com, Gayle is estimated to be worth over 25 million dollars due to his brilliant exploits on the cricket field. Yet, as he nears the end of his international T-20 career, Gayle is experiencing a lean run-scoring period.
Recently, former West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray questioned the legitimacy of Gayle’s place in the World Cup team due to his poor run of form. He stated on the Mason and Guest radio show, “if he doesn’t fire against Australia for the first two games, I’m not taking him to the World Cup. That would be seven games – against Sri Lanka and South Africa – and the next two games would be nine games, he had an opportunity to fire.”
Let’s look at three reasons why Gayle should not be dropped from the team for the upcoming tournament despite his form.
Reason 1- Historical T-20 batsman
According to stats.espncricinfo.com, Chris Gayle has amassed 14,039 runs which is the most in T-20 history. Gayle’s record is ridiculous because the next best player on the list is another West Indian in Kieron Pollard who has amassed 10,836 runs. He is therefore outpacing the field by over 3000 runs.
He has scored 22 centuries which is a record with Australian’s Michael Klinger, David Warner, and Aaron Finch tied for second with 8 centuries. He has scored 87 fifties which is a record with David Warner in second with 82 fifties. He averages an excellent 37.53 with a strike rate of 146.14.
Gayle’s strike rate is phenomenal because he has hit 1083 fours and 1028 sixes which is a ratio of 51 to 49. No other batsman in world cricket boasts that kind of record which makes the idea of dropping Gayle sound ridiculous.
Reason 2-Fear Factor
Fear is something that cannot be measured by a statistic. However, think about the strategy that is involved in playing cricket especially the T-20 format. The coach and the bowlers will identify the most dangerous player in the lineup, watch the tape and strategize how to get that player out.
With Gayle in the lineup, the opposition must account for his brilliance and dominance when he is on top of his game. Gayle has shown the capacity to catch fire quickly and pour it on in a tremendous manner.
After scores of 4 and 13 in the first two T-20 games, Gayle caught fire in the third game and silenced the critics with a blistering 67 runs from 38 balls. His man-of-the-match performance led to a fairly comfortable win by 6 wickets and 31 balls to spare.
If Gayle’s name is replaced by Andre Fletcher or a Kyle Mayers, it is a definite psychological win for the opposition.
Reason 3-Experience in the Camp
The West Indies will contain the most experienced T-20 players in the world when they play in the World Cup. This is because 3 current Windies players rank 1, 2, and 3 in most T-20 matches played.
Kieron Pollard leads the pack with 545 matches. He is followed by Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle who have played 485 and 432 matches respectively. It is one thing to rotate Gayle out of the starting 11 but it is another thing to have the man out of the entire squad.
He is among the core of senior players needed to keep the young players grounded and calm under the pressure that they will face. If Gayle was dropped from the team, then it might disrupt the chemistry in the dressing room.
The reasons outline proves the value of keeping Chris Gayle in the team. The tournament is likely Gayle’s last few matches on the international stage and he will be aiming to end it with a bang in leading the Windies to a third championship.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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